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Legendary Kokan: Which artists and writers of different eras imagined a wonderland

People for centuries attracted the dream of heavenly life, as it implied the ability to live without thinking about their daily bread and material benefits. In many nations, this fantasy had its own imaginary figurative phenomenon in the form of a wonderland. In France, for example, this amazing imaginary country was called Kokan. And people, having learned to clothe their thoughts in literary words, and artistic images in painting, began to capture their fantasies, which have reached our days in the form of paintings and writings.

And interestingly, so far no one has solved the mystery of the appearance in the public consciousness of this mythological country. The only reliable fact is that it originated and developed in the imagination of the inhabitants of medieval Europe.

It was in the dark times of the Middle Ages that dreams of a paradise life and an incredibly fabulous country were deeply hooked on the minds of people capable of figurative thinking. Their thought forms gradually turned into a beautiful legend, which began to be vividly reflected in the manuscripts of the chroniclers of that era.

The wonders of the middle ages
The concept of “Kokan” originally denoting – “luck” or “edible country” appeared in French folklore, then migrated to English, Italian, and so on throughout Europe. What people did not want to believe in miracles and know that heaven on earth still exists. German engraver and cartographer Johann Baptist Gomann even invented and created a map of this country.

For the first time the mention of a magical corner of the earth appeared in the literature of France and England in the XII-XIII century. Since then, this mythical fiction has become overgrown with new and new images and facts. And the legend about a country called Kokan has come down to us in the form of a manuscript dated to the middle of the 13th century, an old French poetic novel – fablio, as well as many paintings. And Giovanni Boccaccio in the middle of the XIV century on the pages of the famous “Decameron” mentioned the wonder-country.

And what is curious, already at the time of the Renaissance, this concept would begin to acquire a more mocking character, dressed in grotesque-symbolic meaning. This transformation can be seen in European literary works and in painting, directly on the canvas of Peter Bruegel the Elder, “The Country of Kokan” or “The Garden of Delights” – a metaphor for gluttony and laziness.

Thus, an imaginary wonderland that came into the life of people from the depths of the Middle Ages continued to live in the folklore of many European countries for a long time, until it gradually turned into an amusing literary tale.

Old-French wonderland wonderland
In addition to the ancient manuscript and paintings, a poetic fable of an unknown French author, consisting of 200 eight-syllable verses, has reached our days. In its time, it turned the whole morality of the thirteenth century upside down.

And in order that modern man could understand the meaning of all the above, it is necessary to plunge a little into the essence laid down in the legend. And for this I would like to resort to the most vivid descriptions of the life of people in a mythological country, relying on the novel of the French rhymermind.

The author himself, Fablio, appears to the reader as a traveler who has fallen into a wonderful land, where he was shocked by what he saw: “… in Wonderland, houses were built from fish carcasses – perch, salmon and herring, rafters – from sturgeon, the floors were sent by sausages, and the roofs – ham. The fences around the houses are laid out of pieces of fried meat and ham. The game itself is spinning on skewers, roasting until golden brown. Along all roads laid tables with white tablecloths. Every passer-by can sit down and eat to the heap, whatever your heart desires, and this is all for nothing. And the river in those parts flows from wine, and in it are silver and gold cups and cups, and they are filled with themselves. And all this is also a gift. ”

And there is a special attitude to money: “… the country is so rich that in the fields you can almost find a purse full of gold under each bush. They are scattered as superfluous because there nothing is sold and bought. ”

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